Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The Weatherford Printing Company, May, 1912. First edition. 8vo, original printed wrappers, 24,  pages. Seven inserted plates. Wrapper splitting along the spine and somewhat toned; a little wear; a trifle musty; a very good copy. Item #16484
"It was Dr. Baird, I believe, who said that a public museum should be 'a collection of labels with specimens to illustrate them.'" Issued as Educational Paper 1 by the Museum of the Geological Survey of Alabama (now the Alabama Museum of Natural History), an essay from the curator (and himself no mean naturalist) on the history and public role of the museum in collecting and in education and outreach, with a review of the museum movement in the South; Smith makes some arguments as to the value of museums in general and his museum in particular, noting "It would be unjust and, indeed, illegal to burden the Geological Survey with the expenses of such outside work [as school lectures and field excursions]. It would be equally unjust to throw the burden on the University; it need all its resources, and more, for other things. It seems clear to me that the Museum should have an endowment of its own. Until this can be secured it should receive a sufficient special special appropriation from the state, as other state museums do. I am not claiming that museums are the most important of public institutions, but I do hold, and think I have proved, that they are one of the strongest influences for good; that they educate the people and make for a higher civilization." With the ink ownership signature of Michigan sculptor (and artist for the Ruthven Museum at the University of Michigan in the 1920s and 1930s) C. W. Angell on the front wrapper. (Angell has made a few penciled underlinings and notes in the text, including to the quote from Dr. Baird above.).